"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Monday, November 28, 2011

Swamp Women (for Marion)

If we lived near each other, I would go bang on your door come midnight
though the full moon would've already disturbed your slumber...
the both of you, just staring at each other all googly eyed as you do...
but this night, I his hand to draw you.

In my plaid flannel PJ's,
grabbing the hem of your rose print cotton nightgown..
Come on, Come on   I'd tug
cuz you're not that old and your hip will survive the outing
into the swamp where we'd find old timber
and set it on fire with the gasoline of our piss.

We'd whoop and holler and get naked,
just to show Mr. Moon that we still got some magic in the kindest light...
maybe not in the full spectrum sun,
where our carriage tends to turn again to pumpkin
but in the dim light of the planets and stars,
our skin still glows and our breasts have some allure

at least the alligators think so ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

His Journals

He bequeaths me his journals
hand to page
pressing in, on the fabric of self
a scratch, a wound, a scar
petroglyph, fossil, a museum of the mind.

I do not take this lightly.
I can see the artifacts lined up above the piano
grave stones to passing years
the dusty mind of a younger man.

I rope my arm to the chair
for it would snake out to brrrshk brrrshk each cover
my lips to blow
yearly deposits of inattention from drying spines.

Why must I wait for death
to receive this gift?

Why is such a treasure held in a rubber band coffin,
the exhumation of which is only offered
when the pain is fresh and questions
lay like a wilting bouquet in the lap of an epitaph?

Is that it?
The questions?

I won't ask them!!!!
But let me know you while you live.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Come back

Stephanie and Me

Her smile dies in still birth
eyes weeping against the curvature
willowed lashes bent in the posture of submission
repeatedly coming up empty, but for a fist of soil
wishing to god-breath-it to life, into the shape her fingers trace, airly
above the space of a cavernous bed

I promised him
promised I'd take good care of her
because you'll promise anything when it feels sacrificial
enough for death

We watched each other fighting in separate wars
reached out a hand
but there was no trust in it
no salvation

We'd never needed each other more
or had each other less
I broke it Mike. I broke my promise

"So did she" his spirit assuages.
And he was that guy, that guy who never held you
to a drunk slur, or a bet you couldn't back.

I wanted to be better. More.

I tried to smile for her
she tried to navigate for me
and we both got lost

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Crutch

Your fingers slide into the palm of your addiction
press intently...red crescent moons anchoring
into the fleshy thing that has become your Bathsheba.

The one glance you stole
has become a hot need in your pants
quivering, seeking, alive.
And if it's alive, then to deprive it is death,
and so we don't.
Nicotine, alcohol, drugs, pornography, aggression...

What if I told you, you could live without it?
What if you believed me?
What then?
It makes you nervous just to consider that you could...
don't it? Yeah. I know.

There was a man.
He lived without a face.
13,800 volts for 3 minutes and his face was gone.
He took down all the mirrors, saying
"on occasion I would catch my reflection in a butter knife
and that was enough."

He lived without something as fundamental as features.
And then again,
they aren't so fundamental are they?
We think our face is unique and intrinsic to our identity.
But I look like Cindy Williams
and Sally Fields
and that neurosurgeon in Lodi
and that girl you kissed under the bleachers.

But a man without a face?
I am humbled by that man.
It's amazing what we can live without as soon as we have to.
Perhaps we should live that way
before the choice...no longer ours.